Over the years, Bloom Phase has perfected his sound playing at house parties, local music festivals and dive bars. His energetic soundscape has you heading to the dance floor for an aggressive get down while sweeping you away with emotional vocals and harmonies. All of this has been brought together in his album Rise Rule Fall. We sat down with Bloom Phase to talk about the new album, his creative process, music and much more!
OSR: What first drew you to making music?
Bloom Phase: I wonder if it was Elvis. You know how when you’re super young and you don’t really know why you like something, but you just do? That’s sort of how I felt when I saw videos of Elvis when I was maybe 5 or 6. It just looked like he was having a blast, and you could see how the music affected people. I think that might have planted a tiny idea in my head, that I wanted to have a connection like that to an audience, but obviously, I didn’t really understand the scope of it back then. Luckily, as I got older, I absolutely fell in love with music. I felt the connection when listening to it, and I connected to it on a whole new level when I started making it around the age of 10.
OSR: If you were not making music, what would you be doing right now?
Bloom Phase: I’d probably be pushing towards becoming a photographer. I worked as a freelance photographer for a couple of years and really enjoyed certain parts of it, like going to all sorts of fun events and the slight awkwardness I felt when I showed up to a private party where I didn’t know anyone, but I was there to get right up into everyone’s face with a camera. That was a real adventure for someone like me who used to be pretty quiet.
Unfortunately, it was tough to work on photography, music, and hold a day job at the same time. So, I put on my big boy pants and decided that music was always my main dream anyway. So I should focus directly on getting into everyone’s face with fresh beats!
OSR: Your new album Rise Rule Fall combines different genres of electronic music. Was this a conscious decision or something that evolved during creation?
Bloom Phase: I really wish I had 50 lifetimes to master every genre of music. I can always find enjoyment in some part of a song, regardless of the genre, and it just makes sense to me to use all of that in the music that I make. I love heavy bass drops with crazy sounds, I probably love using distortion on everything way too much, I love chill bass lines that make you bob your head, and I love big, beautiful chords that stir up all sorts of emotions. As a listener, I really enjoy an album that takes me through all sorts of different sounds and styles, so I went ahead and made an album that myself, and hopefully other people, will find engaging.
OSR: Is there a backstory or theme to the album?
Bloom Phase: The main theme, maybe unsurprisingly, is following someone on a journey that has a rise, rule and fall, which I know is really simple, but I like the super open-ended concept. The album title is definitely a little “nail on the head,” but I think the songs follow along in a way that’s a little less obvious, so it works for me. I put some more aggressive songs at the beginning such as ‘Come Down’, which says “When will it all come down?”, sort of eluding to someone who is unhappy with the current state of things and is ready for change.
Near the middle is probably the most obvious one with ‘Stupid King’ which is about someone whose dreams come true and they become powerful, but they have no idea what to do after that. After a couple of the heaviest songs on the album, which I picture as someone fighting to keep their current status, everything comes to a close on the sombre note of our traveller wanting to leave everything behind for the simple hope of keeping those he cares about safe. I’m hoping that everyone can picture a story, either big or small in scale, that follows a similar struggle.
OSR: Rise Rule Fall is your first full-length album; what was the biggest challenge you faced when creating it?
Bloom Phase: Oh, I have to say the song ‘Hacking the Mainframe’, what a rollercoaster that was! I wrote this little bass line probably five or six years ago, and I had been trying to make a song that used it for so long. I finally decided this was the time to finish it up, but wow did that song go through a lot of changes. I was changing lyrics, changing melodies, and swapping parts in and out right up to the day that I submitted it. You can probably tell when you listen, but it has three different tempo changes, so that can give you an idea as to how many different things I wanted that song to be. It was a real struggle to get all of the parts working together, but I’m super happy with it now.
OSR: What was your creative process for the album? Do you start with a melody, lyrics or a concept?
Bloom Phase: I have absolutely no process at all. 99% of the time I’m working on lyrics, melodies and beats all at the same time because I feel like each one can really help push the other along. I usually have no idea what the lyrics will sound like until I have a little bit of a song to play behind them. Once I have a little beat or melody, I’ll loop it and then run through lyrics over and over, making slight changes to how I sing it, taking some words out, adding others, then maybe I’ll change the keyboard melody, or add a new beat, which will, in turn, inspire a new way of singing the lyrics. Everything just evolves as one giant blob of music, squishing into new shapes and sizes as time goes on. It’s really fun! I guess that’s my process, so it turns out I do have one after all!
OSR: When you started making music, did you have an idea of the sound you wanted or has this evolved over time?
Bloom Phase: My first real love of music came from metal. I still love it, and there’s no match for the raw energy of a metal show, so naturally, I started by playing the bass guitar for metal bands that I’d make with friends. But even as I was listening to and playing metal every day, I was practising the keyboard and piano and making these songs that almost sounded classical.
Then when I got a real introduction to electronic music I started going to underground raves around Arizona, which was sort of a trial by fire to see if I liked electronic music or not. Luckily, these events would have several stages with a bunch of different genres, so I was able to experience a huge spread of music all at once. Soon, I fell in love with the raw energy from bands, like The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, and The Bloody beetroots, and then the amazingly danceable bass lines from bands like Ratatat and Digitalism. All of these bands basically blew my mind and I finally started down the path of wanting to combine everything that I had experienced, from metal to classical to electronic and anything in-between.
OSR: If people could listen to only one song on the album, which would you suggest and why?
Bloom Phase: That’s insanely difficult! I’m going to cheat by giving two and say it depends on the mood of the listener. If you want to listen to a solid jam that has some good energy, I’d go with the first track ‘Come Down’ because it has some great heavier elements broken up by softer vocal elements, which is a good example of what I like to do and it also has this crazy long build up in the middle that I’m obsessed with. It honestly gets me psyched no matter how many times I listen to it.
If you’re in a more chill mood and maybe want to stir up some emotion, I’d go with ‘My Friends’ because it’s the most important song to me, personally. In that song, I really focus in on some of the beauty that I think electronic music can bring, while still keeping that power and bass that I love so much.
OSR: What is the one thing you would like people to take away from the album?
Bloom Phase: I hope this album can stir up any sort of feeling in people. Whether it makes you want to bob your head, jump around, or it makes you think about your closest friends, I just hope that I can make that connection with people. The greatest feeling is when I know my music has made an impact on someone’s everyday life, even if it just allows them to let loose and dance for a few minutes.
OSR: What else can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
Bloom Phase: I’m currently working on a three-song follow-up EP. I’m pretty excited about this one because I’m planning on having it start with some fun dancy vibes and then move into more raw energy and emotion. I’m hoping to have it out within the next four or five months.